Hit The Lights
Invicta


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
January 27th, 2012 | 52 replies | 11,222 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Succinctly charting the layman’s definition of “pop-punk”.

As ridiculous as it initially sounds, there may not be another band who has charted the layman’s definition of pop-punk as succinctly as Ohio quintet Hit The Lights. Beginning their career as a young, raw and free-spirited hybrid of early 2000s New Found Glory and Fall Out Boy, a lead vocalist change saw the outfit forced to adopt a more melodic style on their second LP ‘Skip School, Start Fights’. Now, come album number three ‘Invicta’, Hit The Lights make the predictable progression to maturing lyrics and a beefier, more slickly produced arena-ready sound… which mainstays of the genre would suggest is anything but pop-punk.

While it is nothing that has not been heard before, the enormous sounding production courtesy of Machine (Lamb of God, Four Year Strong) and Mike Sapone (Brand New, MC Lars) often lends an impetus which the band had previously lacked. The huge cavernous drums and glossy “woh woh” backing vocals of motivational opener ‘Invincible’ and second single ‘Earthquake’ are matched by the over-driven multi-tracked guitars on tracks like ‘Float Through Me’ and ‘All The Weight’. Electronics are also used to mixed results throughout ‘Invicta’, such as on the initially concerning beginning to lead single ‘Gravity’, which eventually acts as an effective set-up for Nick Thompson’s intense exclamation of “Right Now”. This anthemic stadium rocker has genuine crossover potential if some wise placement gets it heard by enough of the mainstream populous.

Unfortunately, ‘Invicta’ is ultimately over-burdened by sparse ballads such as ‘So Guilty’, ‘Should’ve Known’ and the attempt at a mini-epic that is closer ‘Oh My God’. These tracks just tend to float on by uninterestingly with no great purpose, other than to instil an ill-fitting spacey ambience which occasionally recalls Angels & Airwaves, 30 Seconds to Mars and more recent Linkin Park. Furthermore, without the racket and clatter in the background, these cuts tend to expose Thompson’s strained vocals a little more than desired. Faring worst is the ironically titled ‘Faster Now’, which comes complete with added synths and a programmed beat. While such relatively bold diversity is admirable, Hit The Lights would have been better served integrating such a dynamic into song segments only, such as the aforementioned beginning to ‘Gravity’ and the atmospheric opening minute of infectious penultimate track ‘Take Control’.

Those not foreseeing the aspiring direction with which Hit The Lights have taken their music here, may have missed the band’s hit and miss ‘Coast To Coast’ EP released in 2009. Containing a couple of interestingly chosen covers and a duo of well reworked acoustic renditions, the release could well have foretold Earthquake’s opening lyric of “I’ve got some big dreams”, since ‘Invicta’ clearly has an expanded audience on its mind. Unfortunately, the album’s lack of cohesion makes it clear for all to hear that it was recorded in separate sessions with the two aforementioned producers. While ranking their first two full-length releases was a black & white decision predominantly based on which lead vocalist a listener preferred, ‘Invicta’ is likely to get a similar split reaction based on which style of song one favors. Thankfully, the better half is satisfyingly enjoyable and has sufficient progression to make the album worth a listen.

Recommended Tracks: Gravity, Earthquake & Take Control.



Recent reviews by this author
Emmure Eternal EnemiesThe Pretty Reckless Going to Hell
Broods BroodsThe Jezabels The Brink
Fanfarlo Let's Go ExtinctAbandon All Ships Malocchio
user ratings (54)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First review in over 3 months... Hope the rust doesn't show too much.

Sirob
January 27th 2012



2653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is a bit higher for me, probably because this band has been a real guilty pleasure of mine for years. Also, I completely agree about those ballads.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can see how this band has its fans & I don't mind them to some extent myself. But I find it difficult to understand such a high rating if you are not a fan of the ballads, since there is arguably 4-5 of them if you count the closer & 'All The Weight'. That's almost half the album.

Sirob
January 27th 2012



2653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, i know what you mean. As of right now theyre alright for me. I just meant to say i could see where you were coming from.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fair enough... At least they tried something. I would have preferred if they included such a song on the 'Coast to Coast' EP though, just to get a feel for the feedback.

Sirob
January 27th 2012



2653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah just to test the waters before you throw 4 of them on your first LP in 4 years.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bingo was his name-o.

Acanthus
January 27th 2012



9537 Comments


A nice review sir, the recommended section is packed!

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why thank you gentleman... Not as packed as usual with my reviews.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



7163 Comments


I won't lie DaveyBoy, there was a wee bit of rust evident in the workings of this review, BUT it a.) did it's job and b.) it's really good to see you back to penning on here again.

Mindpos for a job well done =)

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



10306 Comments


3 months?!?!

Digging: Literature - Chorus

AggravatedYeti
January 27th 2012



7684 Comments


Not as packed as usual with my reviews.

aint no party like a DaveyBoy party.

I bet I wouldn't like this

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 27th 2012



10592 Comments


Hit the Lights were from my area. I remember seeing them with The Devil Wears Prada when they were both local bands. Ooh boy I'm such a hipster!

iFghtffyrdmns
January 27th 2012



7047 Comments


nice review davey

considered listening to / reviewing this
but then i thought back to a younger version of me passionately singing bodybag all time time
and it was embarrassing. so i didn't.

/shinfo

Tyrael
January 27th 2012



20798 Comments


painfully average album

Tyrael
January 27th 2012



20798 Comments


Sorry but I think this is a big step down from their previous efforts

jayfatha
January 27th 2012



2883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is pretty much exactly what I think. I really like Gravity

paxman
January 27th 2012



4084 Comments


Very good review, sir. However, I do have a question: what exactly is a "layman's definition"? There is a layman's term, buy as far as I know a definition is a definition.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thought there might be Irving... But I'll work my way out of it... QUICKLY!

Yep, 3 months Rudy... & I've somehow still got a job.

Unsure I would call that being a hipster Xeno.

'Bodybag' is such a cool sing-along.

andcas, I can't comment on anything you say while you still have Gerard convulsing away.

Good to hear jayfatha. 'Gravity' is really catchy.

Ahhh, paxman getting me on a technicality. I guess it's the definition that a layman would give... Plus, it sounded better.

paxman
January 28th 2012



4084 Comments


Nah, it's a really good review, bud



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy